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Archbishop Of Boston Rebukes Pope Over 'Slander' Comments On Sexual Abuse

In this Feb. 13, 2015 file photo, Pope Francis, right, talks with Cardinal Sean O'Malley, of Boston, as they arrive for a special consistory in the Synod Hall at the Vatican. (Andrew Medichini/AP/File)
In this Feb. 13, 2015 file photo, Pope Francis, right, talks with Cardinal Sean O'Malley, of Boston, as they arrive for a special consistory in the Synod Hall at the Vatican. (Andrew Medichini/AP/File)
This article is more than 3 years old.

Pope Francis' top adviser on clerical sex abuse has implicitly criticized the pope over his accusations of slander against Chilean abuse victims, saying his words were "a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse."

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston said in a statement Saturday that he couldn't explain why Francis "chose the particular words he used."

He insisted that Francis "fully recognizes the egregious failures of the church and its clergy who abused children and the devastating impact those crimes have had on survivors and their loved ones."

Francis set off a national uproar upon leaving Chile on Thursday by accusing victims of the country's most notorious pedophile priest of having slandered another bishop by saying he knew of the abuse but did nothing.

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